Sunday, January 26, 2014

An Afternoon at Barnegat Light

 [Female Long-tailed Duck at Barnegat Light, NJ this afternoon. Click to enlarge all photos.]

Somehow I managed not to photograph the female King Eider or any of the Harlequins, but other than that it was a fine, cold afternoon outing at venerable Barnegat Light, NJ, which is where everyone goes to photograph eiders and especially Harlequins, so maybe it's just as well I concentrated on the other species present. This was the first serious bird outing I've had in a couple weeks, so everything was appreciated, especially the everything that was close to the jetty, which was most things. There was a really fine, big collection of ducks in the inlet, with all three scoters, both eiders, and a nice bunch of Greater Scaup, plus plenty of Long-tailed Ducks and Red-breasted Mergansers and Common Loons and two Red-necked Grebes and Great Cormorants and. . .it was really pretty good.

[Dunlin forages in the wrack on the edge of the Barnegat Light Jetty.]

[Landing female Common Goldeneye.]

[Always a nice surprise, two Red-necked Grebes were in the Barnegat Inlet near the lighthouse. Note the red on the neck of the back bird, leftover from breeding plumage.]

 [Red-breasted Merganser races past.]

[Pair of Black Scoters. There was much whistling and courting by this species in Barnegat Inlet today.]

[The rarest of the three scoters, we saw a total of 7 White-winged Scoters today.  There are fewer White-winged scoters in the world in absolute numbers than the other two scoter species, and they tend to winter farther north (and on the west coast), which is why we see fewer of them than the other two.]

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